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Re: [HOn3] RPO & BAGGAGE CAR ENDS

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  • darney@attglobal.net
    A order issued by the Railway Mail Service in Oct.1914 required all postal car ends and to be equipped with rails and fire proof paint The V.& T. did not
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 30, 2000
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      A order issued by the Railway Mail Service in Oct.1914 required all postal car
      ends and to be equipped with rails and fire proof paint The V.& T. did not
      have to comply as roads of less than 50 miles were exempt. ("side line") all
      roads of more than 50 miles were required to install the rail telescoping
      protection and the fire proof paint.
      The RMS sent the V&T instructions on how to bend and install the rail with
      drawings. They also sent instructions for mixing and applying the fireproof
      paint. The paint was indeed black on the Colorado roads.

      You will note that in most books the rails are said to have been installed to
      support sagging platforms and that of course was not the case.

      The following letter from the V.& T.Ry. to the postal department gives a little
      insight as to the purpose of the rail reinforcement. A copy of the drawings
      are at the University of Nevada Library - Special Collections department.

      FEBRUARY 18 1915
      Virginia & Truckee Ry. A.M.Ardery Papers

      Mr. EDW.MCGRATH, 18 February, 1915
      Supt., 8th.Div., R.M.S.,
      San Francisco Calif.
      Dear Sir:-
      Thanks for your prompt attention in handing me copies of Departmental
      instructions as to mail cars, enclosed in yours of 11th.inst.
      We are now about to shop car No. 2 for its usual annual overhauling and
      renewals, and in view of the orders of the department of October 29th. last, we
      desire to make sure of our interpretation of the same before proceeding with
      the work. As you are aware our passenger train consists of four light cars,
      the mail car has eight end posts, substantially built and maintained, in
      portion to the strain upon it, and we therefore believe that we come within
      that exemption of the order as a "side line" and will not be expected to
      reinforce the ends with rails, especially so as there is so little likelihood
      of telescoping on this road.
      Will you kindly give this subject your early and considerate attention
      and let me have your conclusions in due course?
      Respectfully yours,
      A.M.Ardery


      szczowicz@... wrote:

      > In a message dated 27/11/00 16:30:21 GMT Standard Time,
      > John.Templeton@... writes:
      >
      > << Also the ends were painted black with sand mixed into the paint, used
      > as a fire saftey measure.
      > >>
      > John,
      > Thanks for the advice - my model is one of those without the 35 pound rail.
      > But the black painted ends is new - was it done throughout the life of the
      > cars or was there a specific period?
      > Mark
      >
      >
      > HOn3 list web pages are:
      > http://www.railway-eng.com/hon3/
      > http://www.egroups.com/archive/Hon3/
      > http://www.egroups.com/files/HOn3/
    • szczowicz@aol.com
      In a message dated 27/11/00 16:30:21 GMT Standard Time, John.Templeton@Colorado.edu writes:
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 1, 2000
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        In a message dated 27/11/00 16:30:21 GMT Standard Time,
        John.Templeton@... writes:

        << Also the ends were painted black with sand mixed into the paint, used
        as a fire saftey measure.
        >>
        John,
        Thanks for the advice - my model is one of those without the 35 pound rail.
        But the black painted ends is new - was it done throughout the life of the
        cars or was there a specific period?
        Mark
      • John Templeton
        Mark, If I remember, Bob Richardson said that the ends were painted black when the cars rebuilt in 1937.But I mite be wrong. Looking thru a 6-30-19 ICC D&RG
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 1, 2000
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          Mark,
          If I remember, Bob Richardson said that the ends were painted black when
          the cars rebuilt in 1937.But I mite be wrong.
          Looking thru a 6-30-19 ICC D&RG Pass. Car Acount #54 report, I didn't see
          any notes about,nor was there any notes in the main Account #54 book.
          Not much help on this one.
          John
          -----Original Message-----
          From: szczowicz@... [SMTP:szczowicz@...]
          Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 2:42 AM
          To: HOn3@egroups.com
          Subject: Re: [HOn3] RPO & BAGGAGE CAR ENDS

          In a message dated 27/11/00 16:30:21 GMT Standard Time,
          John.Templeton@... writes:

          << Also the ends were painted black with sand mixed into the paint, used
          as a fire saftey measure.
          >>
          John,
          Thanks for the advice - my model is one of those without the 35 pound rail.
          But the black painted ends is new - was it done throughout the life of the
          cars or was there a specific period?
          Mark


          HOn3 list web pages are:
          http://www.railway-eng.com/hon3/
          http://www.egroups.com/archive/Hon3/
          http://www.egroups.com/files/HOn3/
        • John Templeton
          Great information, Thanks ... From: darney@attglobal.net [SMTP:darney@attglobal.net] Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2000 8:44 PM To: HOn3@egroups.com Subject:
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 1, 2000
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            Great information, Thanks

            -----Original Message-----
            From: darney@... [SMTP:darney@...]
            Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2000 8:44 PM
            To: HOn3@egroups.com
            Subject: Re: [HOn3] RPO & BAGGAGE CAR ENDS

            A order issued by the Railway Mail Service in Oct.1914 required all postal car
            ends and to be equipped with rails and fire proof paint
            HOn3 list web pages are:
            http://www.railway-eng.com/hon3/
            http://www.egroups.com/archive/Hon3/
            http://www.egroups.com/files/HOn3/
          • nsuydam@family-network.net
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 1, 2000
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              <<original message>>
              <<<<In a message dated 27/11/00 16:30:21 GMT Standard Time,
              John.Templeton@... writes:

              << Also the ends were painted black with sand mixed into the paint, used
              as a fire safety measure.
              >>
              John,
              Thanks for the advice - my model is one of those without the 35 pound rail.
              But the black painted ends is new - was it done throughout the life of the
              cars or was there a specific period?
              Mark>>>>>


              Mark

              there were basically 2 different RPO cars after the mid 30's when the 2 name
              trains were outfitted ( the Shivano and the San Juan) by the D&RGW. The
              long RPO cars did not have end platforms and were re-built to U.S. Post
              office regulations. I remember an article Charlie Getz wrote on these cars
              a while back and the rail in the ends of the cars were for the safety of the
              Postal Employees working in the car. In the event of an accident, they were
              supposed to prevent the adjacent car from telescoping into the RPO and
              killing the postal clerks. I understand the black paint was actually
              roofing tar and was to reduce the risk of the car catching fire in the event
              a spark from the loco lodged on the forward end of the car. It is my
              understanding that all the long RPO cars in these 2 trains were so equipped.
              After they were transferred to work train service in the early 50's, they
              still kept the rails on the ends but were painted gray. I remember watching
              the 'Friends' repaint one of them in the summer of '99' after being restored
              to its work train configuration.

              The 'short' RPO is what LaBelle makes and it was used on the other runs like
              the Santa Fe mixed train. The short cars did not have rails on the ends but
              I'm not sure about the black ends. None of the RPO cars had end doors for
              security reasons. The short cars on the SantaFe mixed run had roof walks
              and hand railings added which make those particular cars very unique. These
              allowed the brakemen to climb over the tops of the cars to set the brakes
              the baggage cars had walks also). Another thing to note, the long cars
              were set up for electric lights whereas the short cars used kerosene. I
              think the RPO used on the Santa Fe line was set up for both electricity and
              kerosene since the car was attached to the San Juan on the first leg of the
              trip from Alamosa to Antonito. In that train, they tapped into the trains
              generated electricity from the Delco power plant in one of the Baggage cars.
              After being switched out at Antonito and starting the rest of the trip as
              the Santa Fe mixed train, they had no electrical generating capacity and
              hence had to use the kerosene lights.

              E&B made both long and short RPO cars in the 'bash-kits'. The plans with
              the long cars only show putting square plastic in the place of the rail, I'd
              recommend using the rail on the ends. Another note as these kits are
              'stylized' RPO cars as noted on the box label. They are not exact models.
              The 'long' model is still too short to be correct, but it captures the feel.
              There was an article in the Gazette about someone who made the Salida Wreck
              Train and a portion of that article explained how he lengthened an E&B long
              RPO to the correct length.

              Hope this info helps.......................NORM.............
            • Ken martin
              ... I have a Xerox of a 1916 letter from the Railway Mail Service informing the Colorado and Southern in discussion regarding NG car 10. Under this ruling, it
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 2, 2000
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                darney@... wrote:
                >
                > A order issued by the Railway Mail Service in Oct.1914 required all postal car
                > ends and to be equipped with rails and fire proof paint
                >

                I have a Xerox of a 1916 letter from the Railway Mail Service informing the
                Colorado and Southern in discussion regarding NG car 10.

                "Under this ruling, it will not be necessary to make any changes in the
                structural features of the car, i.e., it will not be necessary to add
                longitudinal sills or apply any stregthening features to the ends of the car."

                So no C&S ng mail cars had the rails aplied.

                No mention is made of painting the ends.

                Ken Martin
              • szczowicz@aol.com
                In a message dated 12/2/00 6:10:58 AM GMT Standard Time, nsuydam@family-network.net writes:
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 3, 2000
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                  In a message dated 12/2/00 6:10:58 AM GMT Standard Time,
                  nsuydam@... writes:

                  << The short cars did not have rails on the ends but
                  I'm not sure about the black ends. None of the RPO cars had end doors for
                  security reasons. >>
                  Norm and John,
                  I've now looked at the Coronado plans for the RPO's and they show that the
                  short RPO (61, 62, 63 and 64) had one door at the baggage end. Looking
                  through the NG Pictorial I cannot find a photo of that end only the PO end
                  which is shown as blank wall. Trying to work out the colour from the B/W
                  prints is difficult. I don't think the short version were ever painted in
                  this way though having said that the loong versions look either uniform in
                  side/ end colour or possibly grey. But not black I think. Pictures arevdated
                  from the mid 40's.
                  Mark
                • nsuydam@family-network.net
                  From: szczowicz@aol.com -original message-
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 4, 2000
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                    From: szczowicz@...


                    -original message-
                    <<<Norm and John,
                    I've now looked at the Coronado plans for the RPO's and they show that the
                    short RPO (61, 62, 63 and 64) had one door at the baggage end. Looking
                    through the NG Pictorial I cannot find a photo of that end only the PO end
                    which is shown as blank wall. Trying to work out the colour from the B/W
                    prints is difficult. I don't think the short version were ever painted in
                    this way though having said that the loong versions look either uniform in
                    side/ end colour or possibly grey. But not black I think. Pictures arevdated
                    from the mid 40's.
                    Mark>>>

                    Mark

                    Cars 61, 62 & 63 can be made from the La Belle kits. These cars typically
                    ran on the Santa Fe line until it stopped running in '41 I believe. To get
                    these cars more accurately, add the roof walks and handrails, also look
                    close at the roof line at the end of the car. The lower roof did not curve
                    down, only the upper roof did this. This should get you an accurate model
                    of these cars. In my previous post I mentioned these cars had both electric
                    and kerosene lights. After looking at photos, I was in error. It was the
                    open end passenger cars that ran to Santa Fe that had both types of lights.
                    I noted 3 such cars in the Grandt book one of them being #320.

                    Number 64 is kind of the oddball, it is a 'long' RPO similar to the other
                    long cars, however it never had its end platforms enclosed to become a part
                    of the car. This car was taken out of revenue service around 1940 to become
                    the tool car in the Salida work train. Only one photo is shown in the
                    Grandt book Vol 2, but at a very sharp angle which shows no detail. This
                    car survives in Durango as a Commissary car after returning from the Black
                    Hills and being rebuilt. Look in Vol 10 of the Grandt series to see this
                    car better in its work service appearance as 'X-64'.

                    later ................NORM............
                  • szczowicz@aol.com
                    In a message dated 12/4/00 3:24:51 PM GMT Standard Time, nsuydam@family-network.net writes:
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 4, 2000
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                      In a message dated 12/4/00 3:24:51 PM GMT Standard Time,
                      nsuydam@... writes:

                      << To get
                      these cars more accurately, add the roof walks and handrails, also look
                      close at the roof line at the end of the car. The lower roof did not curve
                      down, only the upper roof did this. >>
                      Norm,
                      Yes the lower roof line is completely straight - something common to all non
                      passenger cars and even a few of those. I filed mine flat and squared off the
                      ends as well. These roofs really take some wrok getting them right. You
                      mentioned the long RPO and that there might be an old E&B kit for them. I
                      find I have two short RPO's but now with the right evergrreen siding I think
                      a bit of 'kit bashing' will result in something quite close. The biggest
                      problem is the window shape. The long RPO's windows are wider than the Grandt
                      line ones - are these available anywhere. The three window PO door is
                      available from Grandt.
                      Any thoughts about that door at one end of the RPO/ baggage. I'm really
                      confused. The plans from Coronado show the short RPO with doors at one end
                      and no rail. The long one is shown as without doors and with four lengths of
                      30 pound rail at each end. Both drawings steel sheathing at the lower end of
                      the sides.
                      Mark
                    • szczowicz@aol.com
                      Looks like Coronado was right all along. There s a John Maxwell pic in Richard Dormans Chilli - city different of the baggage end of 63 which looks to me like
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 9, 2000
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                        Looks like Coronado was right all along. There's a John Maxwell pic in
                        Richard Dormans Chilli - city different of the baggage end of 63 which looks
                        to me like a square top door. Can't make out whether the transom is vertical
                        or horizontal. There is no question that the long RPO's were doorless.
                        Mark
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